Indigenous Victorians: The La Trobe Journal, no. 85
State Library of Victoria, $35 pb, 208 pp
This special issue of La Trobe Journal is guest edited by Lynette Russell from Monash University, and John Arnold, the Journal’s new general editor (since No. 82). Titled Indigenous Victorians: Repressed, Resourceful and Respected, it showcases new historical scholarship that draws on the State Library of Victoria’s unrivalled collections. Topics covered in the twelve essays are diverse: Aboriginal guides to the Victorian goldfields, fisheries in western Victoria, cricketers at Coranderrk, Lake Tyers Aboriginal settlement, the Victorian Aboriginal Advancement League, and government legislation relating to Aboriginal Victorians, among others.
One theme common in this issue is intimacy. Various authors in the volume grapple with the task of trying to understand the complex nature of interpersonal relationships in colonial Victoria. Journals, memoirs, scrapbooks and letters, as well as photographs and objects, are used to explore the often opaque world of emotions, attitudes and motivations that influenced inter-subjective experiences.